Rasputin, the Mad Monk

Rasputin, the Mad Monk

Infobox Film
name = Rasputin, the Mad Monk

caption = Original French film poster
director = Don Sharp
producer = Anthony Nelson Keys
writer = Anthony Hinds
narrator =
starring = Christopher Lee
Barbara Shelley
Francis Matthews
Richard Pasco
Suzan Farmer
music = Don Banks
cinematography = Michael Reed
editing = Roy Hyde
distributor = Warner Brothers
released = 1966
runtime = 91 min.
country = UK
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0059635

"Rasputin, the Mad Monk" is a 1966 Hammer film directed by Don Sharp.

It stars Christopher Lee as Grigori Rasputin, the Russian peasant-mystic notable for gaining great influence with the Tsars prior to the Russian Revolution. It also stars Barbara Shelley, Francis Matthews, Suzan Farmer, Richard Pasco, Dinsdale Landen and Renée Asherson. The story is largely fictionalized, although some of the events leading up to Rasputin's assassination are very loosely based on Prince Yusupov's account of the story. For legal reasons, the character of Yusupov was replaced by Ivan (Matthews).

The emphasis is on Rasputin's terrifying powers both to work magic and to seduce women.


The story begins in the Russian countryside, where Rasputin heals the sick wife of an innkeeper (Derek Francis). When he is later hauled before an Orthodox bishop for his sexual immorality and violence, the innkeeper springs to the monk's defence. Rasputin protests that he is sexually immoral because he likes to give God "sins worth forgiving". He also claims to have healing powers in his hands, and is unperturbed by the bishop's accusation that his power is from Satan.

Rasputin heads for Moscow, where he forces his way into the home of Dr Zargo (Pasco), from where he begins his campaign to gain influence over the Tsarina (Asherson). He manipulates the Tsarina's lady-in-waiting, Sonia (Shelley), whom he uses to satisfy his voracious sexual appetite and gain access to the Tsarina.

However, Rasputin's ruthless pursuit of wealth and prestige, and increasing control over the royal household attracts opposition. Sonia's brother, Peter (Landen), enraged by Rasputin's seduction of his sister, enlists the help of Ivan to bring about the monk's downfall.

Production notes

*This was filmed back-to-back in 1965 with "", using the same sets at Hammer's Bray Studios.
*The original ending had the lifeless Rasputin lying on the ice with his hands held up to his forehead in benediction. However, it was considered controversial for religious reasons, and was removed. Stills of the original ending still exist.
*As a child in the 1920s, Lee had actually met Felix Yusupov.
*The script was novelized by John Burke as part of his "The Second Hammer Horror Film Omnibus" paperback in 1967.

External links

*imdb title|id=0059635|title=Rasputin, the Mad Monk
* [http://leeholics.net/c2l8f0p5/modules.php?op=modload&name=Leeholic_Museum&file=index&do=showgall&gid=225 Rasputin: The Mad Monk] at [http://christopher-lee-fan.de Leeholics.net]

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